Investment in infrastructure is the key to accommodating future economic prosperity for communities. However, the process of infrastructure improvements, particularly roads, can be a challenge for residents and business owners.

We are seeing that play out this summer in Manhattan. We have heard from some businesses, particularly those in the Kimball and Vanesta areas in west Manhattan, that the current road construction is having a negative impact on their customers' ability to access their businesses. While those effected realize that the improvements will ultimately improve their opportunities, they want to remind people that they are still open and accessible. I'm sure there are others now feeling a similar pinch or will be more in the future as we continue to improve the infrastructure in our city.

It is a great reminder that we have to be diligent in supporting businesses even when it might not be the most convenient. We assume that a particular business will always be there when we need it. The truth is, the economic landscape makes it much more difficult for businesses, particularly those that are locally owned, to survive year-to-year. When working on thin margins, a major blip like this might be too much to survive.

I encourage each of you to look for ways to support these businesses, as well as our Manhattan business community overall. We are fortunate for a community our size to have the options we do for shopping, eating and entertainment. Let's work to preserve it.

Thanks and have a great week.

Jason Smith, CEcD

President & CEO

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